The holidays are right around the corner, so break out that gift list and put on your thinking Santa cap. Not exactly flush with cash? With a little creativity, you can still find (or make) presents for everyone on your list.
(Need some year-round help? These ideas will work for birthdays and other special occasions, too).
Magnify a memory
Framed photos work well for just about everyone. They’re personal, thoughtful and celebrate a memorable moment between you and a family member or friend. But if you have a little extra cash (and the right kind of picture), why not go big and blow it up to poster size? Many online services will convert the photo and ship it to you for a fair price.
De-stress with a Zen garden
For anyone on your list who struggles with stress (i.e., just about everyone), a Zen garden is an affordable and simple choice. You just need a glass bowl, a small succulent plant, and some decorative sand (all of which can be purchased for fairly cheap).
Add the plant to the bowl, pour in the sand, and you’re done. Use a pencil or other drawing object to doodle in the sand whenever you’re feeling stressed; it’s oddly calming!
For a last-minute stocking stuffer, treat your kids (or fellow kids at heart) to tickets to the zoo or a local museum. Many attractions offer free or discounted tickets on certain days of the week, or during specific hours (but they don’t necessarily need to know the tickets are free; that’ll be our secret).